How Much Should Driver's Education Cost?

Illustration for article titled How Much Should Drivers Education Cost?

I found out that if you really want to learn how to drive in the US, you have to pay your way into rally school. I think it's worth it, but is there a better way?

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While I was moaning about how US driver's ed teaches you who has right of way at a four-way stop sign, but not what to do when a deer jumps into the road, reader Bedrulf pointed out that the system has at least one plus.

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I agree that driver education in the US is inadequate but you should count yourself lucky. I can speak from first-hand experience since I have both an American and a Norwegian license. In Norway it is the total opposite; there is a buttload of mandatory courses and tests to take and a license to operate a regular car (under 3.5 tons/7700lbs, no trailer) will usually end up costing 3-4000 USD. If you need to drive something that weighs 26,000 lbs (like you can with a regular license in the US) you can add another 3-4000 USD. If you want to drive with a trailer you can add some more. If you want a motorcycle license you can add another 3-4000 USD. I think driver education in Norway is ridiculously expensive and in the US it's ridiculously cheap and too simple.

Something in between would be nice.

Dreygata agreed and wanted a tiered system, though the cost didn't come up.

I completely concur.

I would love for there to be multiple requirements and tests (like vehicles based on weight, maybe for trailers...), mainly because people think a full sized pickup will handle the same as a Smart Car in every situation. Yes, in general things are the same; gas is on the right, brake is on the left (middle for stick and clutch on left), but that's pretty much it. They may perform the same, I don't know, up to about 20-30 mph, but that's about it.

In addition to multiple tests for different vehicles, I'd also like to add refresher tests around every 10 years. A lot of things change, and are forgotten, over 10 years...

So now I'm wondering - does any country get its driver's ed right? How much should it cost to get a comprehensive program? What kind of driver's ed did you do and how much did it cost?

Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove

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DISCUSSION

billcaswell
Bill Caswell

If the licenses in the US cost more and people had more at risk to lose, maybe they would pay more attention to their driving and stop running red lights and such. I think the US is too used to getting everything for free or courtesy of the government. I just got off the autobahn a few minutes ago and man was it nice. No one in the left lane except for passing, everyone signaling, no one texting. I would pay 3-4,000 to enjoy this privilege for the rest of my life in a heartbeat.